31.8.14

THE BOOK OF LOST FRAGRANCES, by M. J. Rose

Beautifully described, finely detailed, a mesmerizing story of family passions and sexrets. Jac L'Etoile has been, since childhood, not quite sure of her mental underpinnings. A mercilessly contentious family life in the old family mansion in Paris, her mother's suicide in the family's perfume workshop, her father's ugly humor, all caused young Jac to wind up institutionalized. While her brother Robbie goes on to manage the family perfume business, Jac finds refuge in mythology and becomes a world authority. Click below for more...

SERAGLIO, by Janet Wallach



Wallach, better known for non-fiction like her marvelous Desert Queen (the story of adventurer and nation-founder Gertrude Bell), gives us a fascinating  behind-the-walls look at the womens' quarters of the Ottoman sultans. Meticulously researched and beautifully written, you'll enjoy meeting Tulip, the eunuch who is assigned to lovely young Aimee du Buc, a gift to the sultan from an Algerian pirate. Renamed Nakshidil, young Aimee resists her captors, with dreadful consequences. Finally, things change. The passions and plots of Topkapi Palace, the births and deaths and murders, all will sweep you along. For a historical novel fan, this is a treat. A 5.

29.8.14

THE DEVIL'S HEART, by Cathy Maxwell

3/series. The Scottish-based series will sweep you into the untamed Highlands and the wild and untameable Machnachtan clan, whose Laird, Heath, wants nothing to do with the befuddled English miss who shows up on his doorstep. Rescued after her carriage plunged down a hillside, Lady Margaret Chattan is on a mission to save her brother's lives. The Chattan Curse - any Chattan male who falls in love will die - has struck both of them, and neither have much time left. Click below for more...

LADY ROGUE, by Susan Enoch

This sparkling Regency romance will captivate all but the most jaded of romance readers with its feisty and unusual heroine, its gorgeous but tortured alpha hero, and a whole raft of strong characters both noble and ignoble. Kit Brantley, who has worn a disguise of boy's clothes for a decade, arrives with her father on the doorstep of rakehell Lord Everton, only to discover he's the wrong Earl. His father's dead; the ancient obligation Kit's manipulative father had counted on may be void. Click below for more no-spoiler review. . .

THE SPLENDOUR FALLS, by Susanna Kearsley

Once again, this marvelous author whisks us between eras, beginning with the French-English struggle to control western France. Set entirely in Chinon but in multiple eras, the search for the treasure of Queen Isabelle, the young and tragic queen to Plantagenet King John mesmerizes many. But not Emily Braden, who has arranged to meet her cousin Harry at the hotel in the old city. When Harry - not surprisingly - fails to show, Emily goes on with her impromptu vacation. The hotel's guests include two delightful American brothers, a handsome, temporarily disabled English violinist, and an American couple, one of whom is intrusive and insensitive, the other quiet and discrete. In the bar, a tale is told of World War II, another tragic love story. Everything seems to twine around the massive castle of Chinon soaring atop the cliffs above them, and the now-closed tunnels below. This adventure-mystery-romance is light on the romance, heavy on the mystery. Encompassing medieval rivalry, the struggle for France during World War II, and the search for the deadly treasure, you'll be satisfied on all fronts. This stand-alone book is a 4, a delightful weekend read for the well-written-book lover.
Find the author at www.susannakearsley.com
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24.8.14

BONES NEVER LIE, by Kathy Reichs

17/series, to be released September 12, 2014. Tempe Brennan's asked to work a cold case, a missing teen aged girl in Vermont that is linked to several cases in North Carolina and Canada. The case started a decade before, in Montreal, where Brennan and her former lover, detective Andrew Ryan, tracked down Anique Pomerleau, who kidnapped young girls and held them prisoner in a basement until they died. Pomerleau had escaped, and vanished. And now, as confirmed by DNA evidence, she's surfaced. Click below for more no-spoiler review...

AFTERBURN/AFTERSHOCK, by Sylvia Day

The Jax and Gia two-book series will sweep you off your feet and flat onto your back. What a sexy, smokin' ride!  Gianna Rossi comes from a restauranting family, her three super-sexy, totally macho brothers watch out for her. But Gianna's got her own agenda, and independence is one of them. She graduates from hospitality school and goes to work for New York superstar Lei Yeung whose company develops high-profile chefs and their restaurants. Locked in a battle with Lei's old love and once-time business partner, Gianna's blindsided when her former lover, Jackson Rutledge, appears as part of a business deal. Gianna's over the molto macho Jax, right? Sooo wrong. It's zero to overload for her heart rate, but wealthy Jax is playing it close to his investment banker's vest. Gia's older and wiser, but is she able to play in Jax's league? Sizzling sex, sharp-witted characters, high-wire tension, and a believable plot put this sexy treat onto any romance lover's must-read list. It's a 4.5
Visit the author at www.sylviaday.com
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21.8.14

THE SWEET SPOT, by Stephanie Evanovich

Savvy, self-aware restaurant owner Amanda Cole has her life pretty much where she wants it. Until superstar baseball player Chase Walker has dinner at her restaurant. For Chase, it's she's-the-one love at first sight. For Amanda, it's lust, with a healthy dose of awareness that this 6'5", blindingly handsome, media-stalked celebrity is so totally out of her league it's scary. Click below for more no-spoiler details. . .

TROIKA, by Adam Pelzman

A debut novel you will find more than merely engrossing. Sweeping from Russia to Havana to New York, from a barren Siberian orphanage to a sleazy Florida strip club to the pampered quiet of upper-crust New York. The story of Julian the Russian orphan, Perla the Cuban pole dancer, and Sophie the devoted but tragically damaged wife, will steal your heart. Each character is realized separately and surgically clean, the individual stories told in first person, close, candid, with no artifice or hesitation. Clever, intimate, graphic, revealing. It's a 4.5, one you'll be sure to enjoy. Minor sexual description, but nothing graphic or insulting.
www.adampelzman.com
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SPELLBOUND, by Sylvia Day

Erotic paranormal romance at its best, this steamy tale should keep you nailed to your seat (particularly if you enjoy that image). Victoria St. John, an almost out-of-control Familiar, is stalked by Hunter and warlock, the super-sexy Max Westin, sent by the High Council to either force her to submit or kill her. Victoria got much of her power from her former lover and warlock Darius, whom the High Council had killed. Bent on revenge, needing independence, Victoria has vanquished other Hunters. But this time they've sent their best and the duel between the two adversaries will force Victoria to submit to an invisible collar that signifies her defeat. It's a 4, with the sex at a 5. Which is why you read Sylvia Day, NYTimes #1 best-selling author, one of the hottest erotic romance writers today.
Find her at www.sylviaday.com
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8.8.14

500! COUNT 'EM. . .500 REVIEWS!

And more, many more, coming.
I started this blog in 2012 (more or less) for my own amusement, simply to keep better track of what I'd read and enjoyed. If a friend asks for a good book, I know just where to find the reference. You, too, have friends you recommend books to, and this blog was a simple means for me to keep track of stuff I've loved. Hopefully, it can serve the same purpose for you. I don't "read to order" so what you see is what I've gotten at the library or a bookstore. By the way, patronize your local bookstore if you can; they are the source for all sorts of wonderful, irreplaceable books and information.
Nothing below a 3 star is reviewed in this blog, and few of those. I know how hard it is to write, and I'm in awe of anyone who actually gets a book published. But I'm not the Popessa of Book Reviewers, infallible and all mighty. If I think a book sucks, you might not. So a book I can't finish never shows up here. Don't want to poison the well; anything less than a three rating will not appear on this blog.
Have you read any of these authors? Alex Berenson; Amy Bloom; Robert Olen Butler; Ivan Doig; Jason Goodwin; Barbara Hambly; Robert Hellenga; Susanna Kearsley; Roland Merullo; Michael Robotham; Daniel Silva. That's just for starters. What do they write? A wide range of genres, from historical adventure to contemporary romance. All are reviewed in this blog, all are exceptional writers that I've enjoyed in 2014. You can search by genre, author, setting, time period, heat level of sex (many book have no sex rating because they don't have enough sex in them).
Give the authors above a try. Recommend them, and this blog, to your friends. Thanks!
Visit www.nuts4books.com for no-spoiler book reviews of books both old and new.

THORNBROOK PARK, by Sherri Browning

1/series. Despite the success of Downton Abbey, romances set in the early 1900's are pretty rare. This Edwardian charmer pairs Eve Kendall, newly-widowed and returned from India to England, and Captain Marcus Thorne, recently returned from the cruelties and savagery of the Boer War, where he acquired what is today called PTSD. Thorne, handsome and troubled second son, works out his black rages by bare-knuckled fighting.  Eve, invited to stay the night at Averford House, London home of her best friend the Countess of Averford, is woken by a commotion in the hall. She finds Captain Thorne flat on his battered face, obviously a victim of drink, the aged butler trying to get him into his room. Click below for more no-spoiler review...

DAYS OF THE DEAD, by Barbara Hambly

7/series. Beginning with A Free Man of Color, Hambly has given us readers a long, complex, satisfying look at the pre-Civil War world of the south and the trials, tribulations and adventures of Benjamin January, born to be a field slave on a southern Louisiana plantation. No back story or spoiler here, you really just need to read all seven books, preferably in order, to find out how Benjamin gets to Mexico on his honeymoon, trying to rescue his aristocratic English friend, the consumptive and opium-addict Hannibal Sefton, who has been charged with murder. Wow, that long, involved sentence says it all. Held by the father of the murdered man (who, it is universally agreed, richly deserved to die) on a plantation outside Mexico City, the Shakespeare-quoting Hannibal is sought by the law; click for more...

6.8.14

THE AMAZING MAURICE AND HIS EDUCATED RODENTS, by Terry Pratchett

There are, according to some, only about a dozen truly original plots in the world, most of which were told in The Odyssey or The Iliad or the Bible. But there are unlimited ways to tell those stories, and the incomparable Terry Pratchett (Sir Terry Pratchett) has done his usual hilarious take with the Pied Piper. If you haven't read anything by this Nebula Award-winning author, you have missed a lot of belly laughs. Creator of the Discworld series, this stand-alone book, also available as a musical for kids to perform - barely suitable for young kids, but school age will gobble this up with shrieks of delight - tell the story of the sly and manipulative Maurice and a cadre of sentient rats. Click for more no-spoiler review...

THE FIREBIRD, by Susanna Kearsley

Marvelously readable. Contemporary stories with magical elements can often be downers, but The Firebird isn't one of them. Slipping deftly from today to the Scottish rebellion of 1715, you'll be immersed in two worlds that are linked by a small carved bird and a woman's memories. Nicola Marter, art dealer and historian, has a secret which she's battled to keep for years. A possible client comes to the gallery owned by the hyper-fastidious Sebastian; the woman has a small package family lore says came from the Empress Catherine, the first Catherine, widow of Peter the Great.